PEP and HIV big winners at Outgames

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

PEP and HIV big winners at Outgames


HIV morning-after pill gets prominent play at gay sports event

Wed Jul 26, 2006

As Montreal plays host to one of the largest gay sporting events of its kind, health-care officials in the city are promoting the morning-after pill, a combination of drugs said to reduce the risk of HIV infection.

Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is similar to the conventional morning-after pill used to prevent pregnancy in that it's best taken within 72 hours of risky sexual relations. However, unlike the pregnancy prevention pill, it is a month-long course of treatment.

Montreal health officials have orchestrated an extensive media campaign to promote the pill because of the unprecedented large gathering of gays in the city.

The 1st World Outgames - which began Wednesday - is an athletic event geared to gays, lesbians and transgendered athletes. It's been touted as the largest sports gathering to hit Montreal since the 1976 Olympics.

Thousands of gay athletes from around the world are expected to attend.

Dr. Rejean Thomas, president of the Clinique Medicale l'Actuel, said the pill is not intended to be used in place of a condom but as a backup.

"Accidents can happen. We still know that on drugs or alcohol sometimes the safe behaviour diminishes, so it's like another alternative," said Thomas.

The clinic has launched a poster campaign to promote the pill in addition to sponsoring TV advertisements. It's also added extra staff for the course of the games.

The ads for the pill feature images of handsome, athletic men on a rainbow background and read: "Have you had a risky sexual relation? Did the condom break?... Do you know about PEP?"

Drugs don't encourage unsafe sex: doctor

Thomas said there is typically a surge in infection rates of sexually transmitted diseases following large events of this kind.

The HIV infection rate among gay men living in Montreal is estimated to be about 15 per cent and health-care officials in the city say preventing further spread of the virus is paramount.

Thomas does not believe the drugs encourage unsafe sex, noting that 85 per cent of the people who've taken them, have only done so once.

Ken Monteith, the executive director of AIDS community care in Montreal, says he's entirely in favour of the campaign.

"The whole question of PEP might be saving someone from a lifetime of expensive and difficult-to-take medication," he said.

The pill is well known among medical professionals and has long been used in the event of accidental exposure to the virus on the job.

Monteith says it would be helpful if the general public knew more about the drug and its ability to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV.

Bill Weintraub:

I don't know how many of these articles we've reported on in the last six years, sometimes under the aegis of Your Safer-Sex Establishment at Work, but it's becoming mind-numbing.

PEP is a month-long course of treatment with toxic drugs meant to prevent HIV infection after exposure to HIV.

And it's being massively promoted at this gathering of "thousands of gay athletes from around the world."


Because "there is typically a surge in infection rates of sexually transmitted diseases following large events of this kind" -- that is, huge gatherings of gay men.

We need to be clear in looking at this at how fundamental promiscuity is to the gay male community.

I was talking with one of our guys yesterday who said he'd read an essay by a gay author in which the author seemed to advocate responsibility, but refused to give up promiscuity.

"Responsible promiscuity" is like "safe promiscuity" -- an oxymoron.

Yet our gay author won't give it up.

That's not surprising.

Promiscuity is not just incidental to this community.

It's a core value.

Literally and without question more important than the lives of the individuals who make up the "community."

Not surprisingly, there's no other community, no other culture on earth built upon sexual promiscuity.

Yet, those charged with overseeing the health of the gay male community fully support both the promiscuity and PEP.

Dr. Rejean Thomas, president of the Clinique Medicale l'Actuel:

"Accidents can happen. We still know that on drugs or alcohol sometimes the safe behaviour diminishes, so it's like another alternative."

This is the second time within a month that we've heard barebacking described as an "accident" by an AIDS health professional.

The first time was in a report from Australia.

The language is incredibly patronizing.

As I said the first time, "accidents" are what happen to kids who are being toilet-trained.

This is NOT an accident.

This is anal penetration, which is not safe with a condom, made even more dangerous by people bent on nothing other than their own selfish pleasure.

That's all it is.

A selfish and callous disregard for anything other than one's own momentary sexual pleasure.

And whose sexual pleasure?

The top's.

Followed by the bottom's having to spend a month on toxic meds.

How could you do that to another human being?

It's appalling.

Yet it's tolerated and supported.

Again I know of no other community on earth in which people are allowed to freely and knowingly spread deadly diseases.

Yet in Montreal, that is what will happen, and with the full knowledge of the authorities.

How is PEP being advertised?

"The ads for the pill feature images of handsome, athletic men on a rainbow background..."

AIDS activists have warned literally for years that these sorts of ads make HIV infection look sexy and, heaven help us, healthy.

Plus -- notice the rainbow background -- they further associate HIV with gay.

And they DO NOT WORK.

What does work?


Ugandan AIDS poster

Uganda, using simple and HONEST posters like these, reduced HIV prevalence for 12 consecutive years.

Yet the man who oversaw that reduction is continually attacked by analists and their condomist pals.

Just today I took part in yet another ABC debate online, this one attacking a Ugandan pastor who dared attempt to address "the primary factors that spread promiscuity in the population. Sex-based entertainment (ebimansulo), alcohol abuse, drug abuse and pornography play major roles in poor decision making in matters regarding sex, especially among young people."

He also dared to say that AIDS is big business, and that Western experts make a lot of money off of AIDS in Africa while riding rough-shod over African ways of addressing sex and sexual problems.

While in the gay community, where HIV prevalence keeps RISING, we have a VERY EXPENSIVE public health ad campaign whose only function it would appear is to make more people sick.

It's unreal.

Except it is real.

AIDS Inc + ANAL Inc = big bucks and a lot of sick gay men.

In a sense you have to pity the athletes who've worked and trained so hard to get to Montreal -- and get infected.

Question: Suppose they gave an Outgames -- and no one got infected?

I guess to do that, they'd have to give up anal and promiscuity.

In which case, it would appear, no one would go.

© All material Copyright 2006 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

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